Friday, January 30, 2009

I wish I was tough

I think we've all been very inspired by IFBB pro Pauline Nordin at one point or another. The woman is the epitamy of dedication to this lifestyle and does not budge in her committment to herself and her goals.

Her post on Tuesday 27 January was just the pep talk I needed:

So you want to get lean and stay lean. It’s simple: just stop eating crap! Stop talking yourself into cheat meals benefit you or that those cookies are ok. There is no such thing as comfort eating in my book. Don’t be naive, you think you’ll be happier with that junk in your trunk? Heck no! Deal with it and stop complaining! Listen, we all know we were conditioned by society and our parents to stick something sweet into our mouth whenever we felt down, but that was then, now is different. be a grown up, be responsible for your actions!
Yeah, food is wonderful and yummy. That’s why fat people get fat! You are no different! It’s not unfair that you cannot eat and get away with it. Yes, there are people who do, but you are not one of them apparently.
Nobody is born with a lean and muscular physique. It takes dedication. You either have it or you get it. Cannot buy it just like you cannot buy love!
I get it, you are feeling like you’re starving, but check yourself in the mirror and take a good look. I am sure you’ve got some pounds indicating you are just fine! Low blood sugar, feeling jittery, no energy? Welcome to the club, it’s the price you pay! If you don’t like it, stop asking for it!
No more complain about boring food and how tough it is to diet. You chose it, nobody else. If you cannot stand it, realize you are not a superwoman or a superman. But when you want to be one, sign that contract with yourself and don’t break it. Contracts are there to keep a deal even if you sign it with the devil.
It’s not easier for anyone else than it is for you. Everyone got to do the same shit! Just accept or change your goals! nobody wants to hear your complain about how cardio sucks and that you don’t feel as muscular anymore. Nobody cares if you are having a bad workout if you nag about it. Stop complaining and just DO.
I’ve had it with complaints and moodiness. Just go work your ass off and you will be fine!

I do wish I was this tough... but Im not. Im human and my motivation is high some days and other days I have to drag myself through the motions of cooking and eating my meals and training. I have fallen into the trap of beating myself up for being 'weak' but this only hurts the situation more. So I think I have found a happy medium- days that I require that extra kick to get going, I read something like this or even better my own personal goals and dreams. Because doing what you need to do on a daily basis even when you don't feel like it is the only way you're going to get there. Consistency, consistency, consistency!!

Click on the link above (her name) to see her blog and get some daily inspiration!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

PMS Fact or Fiction?


Hormones: I swear, who needs em? :-S

I used to pish posh about girls who would blame PMS/hormones for their moods or behaviour but these days I have a small inkling of how out of control one can really feel! That being said, I still don't think this gives women the right to give the men/people in their lives hell for a week out of every month! And I strongly dislike it when men make assumptions about women, eg 'oh she's in a mood, must be that time of the month' etc...

So my own opinion is that PMS of course does exist, but do women have to just put up with it- grin and bear it? Depends what of the many symptoms one experiences I guess and the severity of these. I have also read bits and pieces in relation to nutritional deficiencies causing PMS (eg the supplement vitamin B6 can assist with symptoms)..

Im sorry I can't remember who's blog I pinched this from but they wrote an awesome quote about TTOM (first time I have ever used that acronym):

"I can have the most positive outlook on life, have all these goals lined up in my head complete with visions on how to get those things accomplished and then BAM, PMS hits and it's all out the window and I'm left thinking wtf was I thinking, being all happy and positive?! Now where the hell did I hide that bag of M&M's, I mean, I'm fat anyway so what does it matter!?"

So yes, just trying to laugh my way through this..

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Me too!

Ah to be a cartoon character! I think everyone likes the idea of being invincible..

Monday, January 26, 2009

How did you celebrate?

Happy Australia Day!

I hope you have all had a great long weekend!

We trained at a new gym yesterday which is always fun- "Thor's Gym" at West End in Brisbane. It looks quite nice on the website but is a little old in real life. We were there in the middle of the day and damn I had some good sweat going! It was fun not knowing where all the machines were automatically and taking the time to wander a bit having a look. They had a donkey calf machine which our gym doesn't so I got to try that out for the first time- great stretch for the calves! I normally do heavy standing calf raises so great to change it up.

Speaking of sweat, I don't think Ive ever sweated as much just walking on the treadmill as much as this morning. We stayed up late last night watching the tennis and saw Jelena Dokic's great win to get through to the quarter finals!! What a great match and what a fighter- didn't you grimace when they kept showing her roll her ankle in slow motion?!! The whole match was such a close battle. Anyway, cos we stayed up so late, I slept in this morning so had to do my morning cardio when it had already heated up to probably 30 degrees- I was sweating almost as much as when I did Liz's High Performance RPM without air conditioning! 

As for today, we ventured into Southbank today for lunch and a coffee; we had planned to see a film at the Imax cinemas but the one we wanted to see was sold out, dammit! We still had a very nice lunch at the Ginga sushi train and skinny cappuccinos at a cafe nearby. We went for a stroll through Southbank and I was amazed by the number of people who happened to have tshirts/hats etc embellished with our flag on them- how handy! Haha. Seriously though, the level of patriotism and pride to live in our lucky country was admirable. Before today we had just seen a whole lot of flags stuck onto the side of cars because they were free in the Sunday mail I think... 

So how did you celebrate our National Day today? Did you make the most of the holiday?
Our other highlight of the day was taking the risk to see if Woolies was open because we had run out of green vegies (already!!).. It was and we stocked up :) So not too much adventure or stories for us today but we do plan on having kangaroo for dinner.. ah, bless Australia!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Less Food More Figure

My last few posts have been dedicated to my love of food so I thought it was time for a figure update!

Plan of course is still to enter in the ANB QLD State Titles on Sat 26 September this but Im also contemplating enter the INBA competition on the 20 September ... ! Why not, why not. I think I will need some sort of practice run with all the possible disasters involved with walking in 5.5 inch platforms and performing a routine with a flat memory!
So the 20 week competition prep will begin for me in early May. I must say, I can't wait! People keep asking me about it and it makes me feel like I've been dieting for so long now! But I can't wait for the official start and for the countdown to begin.

So far I have my shoes and have been slipping them on to practice every now and then, getting slightly less wobbly and more confident which is a start! Ive also paid the deposit on my suit and have recently decided which colour to wear- big BIG decision for me because I don't really have a favourite..! I have an idea of the design I would like as well but of course the decisions there are left up to the brillant Jo Rogers .
One thing I am concerned about is (for want of a better phrase) being able to 'stand out' on stage if there is a large class, the picture I have posted above always reminds me of this. I am a little shy by nature and am really going to have to fake some confidence up on that stage.. Im sure I will be able to psyche myself up; Im going to have to had worked pretty hard to get there!

Ali and I are also going to be taking posing lessons with Jo, commencing asap so we have time to practice with the right form! There's a lot of flexing and contortion going on in front of mirrors at home already but with with no idea whether we are doing it right or not. It would be a terribly wasted opportunity to come into the compeition in great condition but not know how to present oneself properly- it is HOW we compete after all! I laugh when people ask what you actually do to compete because the explanation sounds so silly! "Well, uh we all line up on stage and go like this" *flare lats etc* HAHAHA. No, not really- I am promoting the sport a little better than that! ;)

The quest is still on for me to reach my ideal 'off season' weight of 54-55kg and low 60's ml of body fat.. ! But i am hovering close to it and overall, very pleased with my progress to date. I am confident that I will be well prepared to have a nice slow prep and extremely happy that I won't have a massive amt of weight to lose during this time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Im at the TOP of the food chain

My current meal plan features 'fish' for one meal per day and not being able to afford fresh Atlantic salmon every day, I have been enjoying FLAKE!

However, someone raised with me the issue that I may be ingesting too much mercury in my diet so I thought Id look into this...

Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and accumulates in the aquatic food chain, including fish, as methyl-mercury. This means all fish contain some methyl-mercury

The advice from State Food Authorities is to moderate fish intake relates mainly to the large fish, like shark/flake and billfish (including swordfish, broadbill and marlin). They advise that if (like me) one of your favourite fish is flake, to limit its intake and instead consider eating a variety of other types of fish.

Why the concern? Apparently, just like the fish, our bodies accumulate mercury and we store it in fat tissue, brain and bones which our systems cannot cope with. Our bodies can remove mercury but it is a slow process which sometimes requires several months. This becomes even more difficult when amounts going into the body exceed what we are excreting. The main concern is that exposure at toxic levels can result in neurological and renal damage. This causes a concern for unborn babies as their brain is developing at a rapid rate. This is why there are recommendations in place for pregnant women as the mercury consumed can be passed through the placenta to the developing baby. In Australia there have been no reported cases of mercury poisoning from seafood. There are also regulations in place to make sure that there is a limit on the mercury that can be present in fish sold.

Fish known to be high in mercury are:
Shark (flake)
Orange roughy
Southern bluefin tuna

Fish that have much lower mercury levels and are also high in Omega 3 fatty acids include:
· Mackerel;
· Silver Warehou;
· Atlantic Salmon;
· Canned Salmon & canned tuna in oil;
· Herrings and
· Sardines
Other fish with low mercury levels include:
· All prawns, lobsters and bugs;
· All squids and octopus:
· Snapper;
· Salmon and trout;
· Trevally;
· Whiting;
· Herring, Anchovy;
· Bream;
· Mullet;
· Garfish.

These fish can be eaten more frequently – two to three times per week. So considering I intend to still eat fish EVERY DAY, I suppose I'd better cut down on the flake! Apparently if mercury levels are elevated, they will return to normal fairly quickly upon presumption of a more varied diet/fish selection.

Recommendations relating to intake exist not just due to mercury levels but because overconsumption of any one food, particularly if at the exclusion of others is a great way to develop vitamin/mineral deficiencies and food intolerences. Luckily, I don't think Im at risk of this because I also eat a variety of other protein sources (eg eggs, chicken and kangaroo) and of course plenty of colourful vegies!

Source of information: NSW Food Services Authority

Friday, January 16, 2009

My all time favourite

As you now know, my favourite food is salmon; my favourite place to eat out is any good Japanese restaurant!

I am a big fan of Japanese food and culture. I studied the language for a few years and spent a month there which is definately one of the biggest highlights of my life so far!

There is a great Japanese restaurant in Brisbane city (and at Hamilton) called Sono- have you been there? Its very traditional in its presentation and cuisine. The waitresses are dressed in tradtional kimono and there are tatami floors and shoji sliding doors. This is where Ali and I chose to spend NYE; we shared two entree's and some sushi, shared a bottle of sake and each had salmon for the main- devine! Each dish comes out on a separate and unique plate/platter that are just beautiful. The portions are small so you really savour the intense flavours.

I've also been there for lunch a couple of times now- I really love the japanese equivalent of a lunchbox, the obento where you get to sample small portions of a few individual items:

Being the wonderfully crazy race they are (absolutely no disrespect intended there) you can find some pretty interesting obento that are more like works of art than just lunch! Apparently 'CUTE' is in at the moment, you can find many creations featuring Hello Kitty! But being a Simpsons fan, this one made me smile!

Well back to today's lunch- I decided to take a risk and try something different and ordered the Fish Shioyaki Obento Set which consisted of:

A good sized piece of salted, grilled fish

about a cup of white steamed rice

pickled gingers


Japanese potato salad (about a tablespoon)

And, on the side: miso soup

Oh, there was also a deep fried oyster but I didn't eat that one! ;)

All in all, I highly recommend both the food and the dining experience. If you or someone you know has had their head in the sand and refuses to even TRY Japanese food because they think its all raw fish- give yourself or them a slap from me because its AWESOME!

Monday, January 12, 2009

This is WHY

As you may remember, I work at the Children's Commission and everyday staff get emails of media articles in relation to topics concerning childrens' issues including health and wellbeing.

Those of you who read the Sunday Mail on the weekend were probably shocked to read about the 10 year old girl who, at 80kg suffered a mild heartache with the associated symptoms of pain in the chest and shooting pain down her arm. She has been referred to the only University and Hospital based program (UQ and Royal Children's) available in the State at the moment. 60% of participants in the program no longer attend school due to the bullying associated with their weight.

When will people accept that the rising rates of overweight and obese Australians (currently 60% and 30% respectively) is a MAJOR cause for concern!? The article says that 21% of Qld's 5-17 year olds were overweight or obese according to a survey conducted in 2006.

THIS is why I am studying nutrition and dietetics. I want to help families rediscover the fun of cooking healthy meals together and show them that weight maintenance doesn't have to be a mystery!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I finally BULKED UP!

I finally gave a good idea a run this week by preparing my breakfast in bulk on the weekend to divide into portions for Mon-Friday. Thanks to the wise Charlotte for this idea in regards to not having to cook eggs every morning!
I usually eat scrambled eggs with vegies plus a bowl of oats so I decided to try something a little different for the premade versions. I made:
Baked Eggs (6 portions)
6 whole eggs
600g green vegies lightly stir fried including broccoli, celery, and zucchini
1 brown onion diced and stir fried
1 tomato
extra zucchini grated
2 tsp garlic
I used a small square pan that the 600g of vegies filled almost to the top, layed tomato slices onto the vege, poured the egg mixture evenly over and spread the grated zucchini on the very top.
I baked this at 200 degrees for at least 40mins before it set, might have been a bit longer. The garlic smelt great coming out of the oven, would have been even better with a bit of grated parmesan! But as you can see its fairly clean and boring for me :)
This tastes really good heated up with fresh cracked pepper on top, so will definately do this again.
Oat cakes
These look interesting but unfortunately did not turn out so well so I will tweak the recipe next time. I used my protein pancake recipe but perhaps should have added more water to the mixture to make it less dense. As you can see, I used one blueberry and one raspberry (halved) on top of each little cake which when heated makes it a little more interesting. The best thing about these is the cinnamon flavour when heated and served with some sugar free maple syrup and a cup of hot tea.
Stay tuned for this recipe when I perfect it down the track!
Who out there is also a breakfast nut? What lengths do you go to to enjoy your favourite meal when there is not enough time in the morning!?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The wonderfood

I. LOVE. SALMON And Im even getting better at cooking it :) 

And for something that tastes so darn good- its a superfood of health benefits!

Did you know that a 115g serve (perfect for us gals) provides a day's requirement of vitamin D?  That sized piece also contains over half of the necessary B12, niacin, and selenium, and is an excellent source of B6 and magnesium. Canned salmon can also be a great source of calcium due to the bones, but is obviously not as tasty.

Probably the most obvious health benefits of eating salmon is due to the high content of Omega-3 fats which we need to consume through either food or supplements because our bodies don't make it. Omega 6 is easier to find from food sources but you need the right balance between the two fatty acids. Omega 3's seem to primarily work through reducing inflammation in our bodies which is crucial as inflammation is the base of many health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancers and arthritis. Omega-3’s also help prevent the blood clots which cause many strokes.

My favourite way to serve salmon is to grill it just lightly and serve over green vegies that have been lightly dressed with teriyaki sauce and ginger (I got this idea from the Japanese restaurant Sono, and its much nicer than marinating the meat in the sauce).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009- get on it!

It's here, it's finally here- the 'next year' Ive been talking about, the year where I get to compete!!

We have taken 8 days off training and are so ready to get back into it tomorrow, I don't even know where to start! Shoulders and biceps today 
methinks and LEGS on Saturday.. I always save legs for a Saturday and have Sunday off.

Everyone has their own personal stash of inspirational pictures right? Let's drag them out and show them off- my favourite IFBB pro until she recently retired (boo) was Valerie Waugaman who worked with Precision Nutrition in her last couple of seasons and claims to be ala natural which is very very inspiring! I don't think there is much point pining after huge muscles that I am never going to be able to achieve with my current batch of hormones, hehe.

The three pics of the lovely Val are her 'before' shot, her first competition (8 weeks prep) and at a pro level. I just LOVE her, she has this crazy energy that is contagious and is a true athlete, eats clean all year round, owns a health cafe (octane) in the States that I want to go and visit, was (is?) an American Gladiator and created her own cartoon character, the Green Goddess to motivate kids to eat their vegies. 

My favourite piece of inspiration from Val was a clip of her prep for the Arnold Classic I watched on She had written out all her values on large cardboard sheets and had these, pictures of herself and Arnold in front of her when she trained, she would chant 'Valerie Waugman Arnold Champion' and visualise herself shaking Arnold's hand at the comp when her name was called as the winner. I tell you, it was all a little weird and extreme but I loved it! It gave me a small insight into the dedication this sport requires! So I am starting to warn all my family and friends, Im going to get a little weird this year and definately positive to an irritating level- hope you can deal with that! :) Its what we all have to do to in our quest to be awesome people, NO time for negative people, thoughts or energy.

The time is NOW!!!!

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